AT&T prepaid US SIM: FAQs
Q: Can I get just a data SIM?
A: No, Unfortunately the prepaid AT&T SIMs are only activated on phone+data plans. The full range of AT&T plans are here on their site: http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/plans/prepaidplans.html
If you didn't need as much data, you could try the $45 plan (2GB) , otherwise the $60 plan comes with 5GB.
Q: Will an AT&T SIM work in my blackberry?
A: Yes for voice and SMS, and partly for data. The AT&T USA sim card will not connect to the Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) - this means you won't connect to Blackberry email, or any other apps that use BIS. Any apps that connect direct to the internet will work (provided you get an AT&T plan with data). Calls and SMS will work irrespective of which AT&T plan you use.
Q: After applying a top-voucher, or when I check my balance, it says $0 balance
A: It will say 'no credit' because the plan that you selected uses the credit to make that plan active, leaving '$0 credit' but an active plan for the month... it only requires more credit if you are making calls outside of what is included in the plan (ie international calls), or keeping the plan for the next month.
Q: Why can't I make international calls?
A: International calls are not included in any of the plans. The $60 plan for example includes unlimited domestic calls, unlimited international messaging, and 5GB data. For international calls, you need more credit, but if you are making quite a few, it might be worth adding the $5 international pack, which gives you 250 minutes of international calling to landlines. Just call AT&T (611) or apply a $5 credit and add it via their call line in the features section. Calls to mobiles aren't included in this international call pack- to Australian mobiles they cost USD$1.09/minute
Q: My phone doesn't seem to be getting any signal? (ie top left corner of most smartphones)
A: If your phone is not getting any signal (ie not connecting), then it is most likely (actually, almost certainly) an issue with your phone not being unlocked. The best way to resolve this issue is to contact the telco/phone company who you originally bought the phone from. See more here.
Q: I can make calls and text domestically, but data doesn't seem to be working?
A: It is most likely an issue with the APN settings- please see info here for a comprehensive guide to getting AT&T data working on your smartphone for both Android or iPhone users. Note, as per the guide, iPhone users formally had to use an unlockit.co.nz site to set APN settings to get data working on AT&T. We have had several reports that this is no longer necessary.
Q: How do I load credit from a top-up voucher I purchased in a convenience store in the US?
A: To load PIN NUMBER to your account:
• Enter *888* followed by PIN NUMBER, then press the # key on prepaid phone
Example: *888*PIN NUMBER#
• Press SEND key on prepaid phone.
• Confirmation message will be sent to your prepaid phone
Q: How can I call AT&T when in the US?
A: You able to call AT&T help on 611 or 800-901-9878
Q: I have a dual SIM phone, but I can't seem to get data working on my AT&T SIM?
A: Be careful which slot your SIM is in. Most dual SIM phones only let 3G data work in one of the SIM slots.
Q: Can I tether or create a hotspot on my AT&T prepaid SIM?
A: Yes, AT&T now supports tethering on its prepaid products.
Q: Can I keep my AT&T SIM alive for my next trip?
A: Long story short - For most people who activate on usd$60 plan the SIM will expire 150 days (5 months) after first activated.
Detail: There are two issues here: keeping the money (i expiry), and keeping the phone number (ii cancellation). They have two different drop-dead dates.
i) Expiry depends on the amount initially added:
From $10 to $24 30 days
From $25 to $99 90 days
$100 and higher 1 year
ii) While cancellation happens sixty days after expiry.
That means, for example, that the money disappears after 365 days, but the number remains yours for another 60 days. As long as you add money before cancellation, the clock starts over again.
Going down this path, you might want to add $100 to your account ($60 will be used up immediately by the plan you selected, leaving $40 left over), but there are two things that you should be aware of;
1. Say you want the $60 monthly plan (gives unlimited call and 2GB data)- it will deduct $60 monthly if there is enough in the account.
2. Switch to non-monthly plan (and no bolt-on) before leaving from US to stop monthly deductions
If you don't do this, the monthly prepaid plan will try to deduct $60 from the existing credit for the next month.
I have just checked the policy Re; pausing/suspending an AT&T prepaid GoPhone account, and it seems the best they will allow is to put the account on a flat-rate or '10c/minute plan'. This has no monthly fee, but make sure you do this before your plan ticks over into the next month. When you activate the plan and add credit a few days before your departure, that is the official activation date is, so you know when the plan ticks over into the next month (you should also get notification of the anniversary date from AT&T).
So yes, it looks like this method should work for your scenario as long as there is remaining balance when you leave from the first trip and downgrade the plan to the 10c/min plan so it doesn't keep taking